Public Service Commission approves Gulf Power Hurricane Sally rate changes

Local News

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (News Service of Florida) — Gulf Power residential customers will see slight reductions in monthly bills after state regulators Tuesday signed off on two changes related to last year’s Hurricane Sally.

The Florida Public Service Commission approved allowing Gulf to recoup $206 million from customers because of costs stemming from restoring power after the hurricane. At the same time, the commission approved a proposal involving Gulf’s decision to stop using coal at its former Plant Crist power plant. The decision came after the plant was damaged in Hurricane Sally. Gulf asked the commission to approve changes, primarily involving accounting issues, that are related to the decision.

The proposal related to storm-restoration costs will add $3 to the monthly bills of residential customers who use 1,000-kilowatt-hours of electricity a month, a common benchmark in the utility industry. But the proposal involving the former Plant Crist will lead to a reduction of $3.71 in those same 1,000-kilowatt-hour bills, according to the commission.

The changes will take effect with this month’s bills.

“Instead of retiring the Crist units at the end of this year as planned, Gulf decided to accelerate the plants’ retirement to October 2020 following damage from Hurricane Sally,” commission Chairman Gary Clark said in a prepared statement. “As a result, customers will benefit from the reduced … charge that more than offsets Gulf’s Hurricane Sally interim restoration charge.”

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